Thursday, June 07, 2012

(Not Your Typical) Pittsburgh Pirates Draft Recap

Welcome to my second annual (possibly) recap of the Pittsburgh Pirates draft. We’ll start at the beginning where the Pirates selected pitcher Mark Appel from Stanford University in the first round. The Pirates management was clearly inspired by Steve Jobs and the two pending movies about his life. Why else would the team select a guy named Appel from Silicon Valley? Let’s take a look at some of the other picks:

Supplemental round: Barrett Barnes (OF, Texas Tech University) - I can’t wait to see the Pirates put Barnes next to Clint Barmes in the batting order. The Barmes-Barnes combo will be bigger than the Killer B’s in the early 1990s.

2nd round - Wyatt Mathisen (C, Calallen High School in Texas) - The Pirates management team are big fans of Kevin Costner. Want proof? The History Channel recently aired the extremely successful Hatfields & McCoys starring Kevin Costner. Of course, Costner also starred as Wyatt Earp in the 1994 film, Wyatt Earp. See where I’m going here? I don’t think Wyatt Mathisen would be a Pittsburgh Pirate draftee if not for the success of the Hatfields & McCoys and Kevin Costner.

3rd round: Jonathan Sandfort (P, Winter Springs High School in Florida) – Sand fort! What a great name for a pitcher. Plus think of all of the possible promotional tie-ins with Pittsburgh’s Sand Castle!

10th round: Pat Ludwig (P, Yale University) – Ludwig was the Pirates’ second favorite Harry Potter owl.

12th round: Dalton Friend (P, Jefferson College in Missouri) – The Pirates desperately hope that he’s somehow related to legendary Pirates’ pitcher Bob Friend. If he doesn’t work out though, you can expect many people singing Biz Markie’s song about Dalton.

21st round: Jordan Steranka (INF, Penn State & Mt. Lebanon High School) & 26th round: Jimmy Rider (INF, Kent State University and Peters Township HS) – They are exactly like Neil Walker except that they both went to college and were drafted in 21st and 26th rounds instead of the first and will receive a significantly lower signing bonus. Otherwise, exactly the same.

23rd round: Lance Breedlove (P, Purdue University) – It’s no Sandfort, but Breedlove isn’t bad.

34th round: Ryan Rand (OF, Langham Creek HS in TX) – Sadly, the Pirates didn’t realize until after this pick that there was no player named McNally available in the draft.

35th round: Jackson McClelland (P, Redlands E. Valley HS in California) & 36th round: Brody Russell (INF, Centennial HS in CA) – It’s time to draft players with names similar to recent Pirates managers. (McClelland and McClendon are close enough.)

37th round: Jacob Waguespack (P, Dutchtown High School in Louisiana) – Waguespack is right there with Sandfort and Breedlove.

38th round: Matthew Pope (P, Science Hill HS in TN) – If the Pirates want to reach .500 for the first time in 20 years, it probably doesn’t hurt to draft a Pope. (Meanwhile, does Matthew Pope attending Science Hill High School help bridge the gap between religion and science?)

40th round: Zarley Zalewski (INF, Valley High School in PA) – This pick was made in the tradition of Pittsburgh Penguin, Zarley Zalapski. Your move, Steelers!

For more serious information about the Pirates’ draft, visit the Pittsburgh Pirates website and the terrific Pirates Prospects blog. You can also view my recap of last year’s draft here.

Finally, relatives (generally children) of former major league players such as Cal Ripken Jr., Jose Oquendo, Gregg Jefferies, Jose Mesa, and Lee Mazzilli were selected in the draft. According to this article from, the Pirates didn't select any of these relatives.

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